The “Idiot Moment” in Autism (The New York Times & Dr. Poul Thorsen)
Winner: Signed Copy of David Kirby's Animal Factory

First Fraud: Dr. Poul Thorsen and the original “Danish Study”

Dominoes By J.B. Handley
In my last post Frantic: CDC’s Dr. Diane Simpson Travels the World to Find Dr. Poul Thorsen, I detailed the desperate world travel of Dr. Diane Simpson, a CDC employee tasked with proving, at all costs, that thimerosal in vaccines was not causing autism.
If desperate times call for desperate acts, than there is no desperate act more extreme than the study ultimately published due to Dr. Simpson’s world travel, Thimerosal and the Occurrence of Autism: Negative Ecological Evidence From Danish Population-Based Data .
More than any other, this study has been used to club our community over the head that thimerosal couldn’t possibly cause autism. Of course, it was published in Pediatrics, a journal that appears to have no standards whatsoever if a paper written by anyone anywhere exonerates vaccines.
A few years ago I took the time to read every published study that “proved” vaccines don’t cause item. Knowing this “Danish study” was the biggie, I started here.
It’s hard to put into words how dishonest and outrageous a study this is, and I knew after reading it that we were in for a long fight: if scientists will lie this explicitly and call it a study and if Pediatrics will publish something this dishonest, they are playing to win at all costs.
Herewith, an analysis of the original Danish study, prepare to be disgusted and outraged:
Thimerosal was removed from Danish vaccines in 1992, and the original Danish study published in Pediatrics in 2003, Thimerosal and the Occurrence of Autism: Negative Ecological Evidence From Danish Population-Based Data  (with co-author Dr. Poul Thorsen) proclaimed that not only did autism rates not go down after its removal, they actually went up! The study's lead other, Kristeen Madsen, had been one of the Danish researchers Dr. Diane Simpson reached out to early on in her world travel of 2001. This study was highly fraudulent for the following reasons:
The data as it was captured was blatantly obscured.
The study looked at data between 1970-2000. In 1995, the Danish registry added "Outpatient Clinics" to their count of autism cases. It turns out that Outpatient Clinics are where 93% of Danish children are diagnosed with autism, so the number of autism cases before 1995 did not include the clinics. More surprising, the authors even note this in the study: "since 1995 outpatient activities were registered as well...the proportion of outpatient to inpatient activities was about 4 to 6 times as many outpatients as inpatients...this may exaggerate the incidence rates."
Exaggerate the incidence rates? It is the equivalent of doing a study on "Divorce Rates in North America" and counting Mexico and Canada only for the first few years, then adding in the United States, and noting that divorce rates went up.

 As a SafeMinds critique of the study noted, "Therefore, their purported increase after 1994 can be explained entirely by the registration of an existing autism population that did not require hospitalization." To compound the problem, Denmark also changed the diagnostic code they used, to the more universal ICD10 code, beginning in 1993, which would have further raised the rates.
Dr. Madsen, in his communications with Dr. Diane Simpson two years earlier, actually noted this discrepancy in Danish data in an email exchange:
Dr. Simpson: "Did they [autism rates] increase after 1993??"
Dr. Madsen: "Yes but not very dramatically and there could be more reasons for that. First of all we had a change from ICD8 to ICD10 in 1994 and furthermore our outpatient clinics were registered in our surveillance from 1995."
The rates of autism in Denmark and the number of vaccines and amount of mercury received in children are markedly lower than the U.S.
Danish children receive 75% less Thimerosal than American children, they receive immunizations when they are older, and the U.S. autism rate is TEN TIMES the rate of Denmark (Denmark is 1 in 1,600, U.S. is 1 in 166).
As an example, here is an email  exchange back in 2001 discussing data from Great Britain between Dr. Verstraeten, the author of the CDC's internal analysis, and Robert Chen. Dr. Verstraeten notes that the British numbers will probably not be helpful because the Thimerosal received by British children is too low relative to American children:
"The maximum exposure is indeed relatively may not be worth doing this after all." Denmark's Thimerosal was as low or lower than Britain, but they proceeded with the study anyway.
The study authors were conflicted, and the conflicts were not reported in the study, as they should have been.
Of the seven co-authors of the study, three had received direct funding from the CDC on vaccine-safety related projects. Two of the authors were employees of Statens Serum Institute, a Danish vaccine manufacturer. Here's SSI's Annual Report . Interestingly, page 28 shows that sales of vaccine products to the U.S. were particularly high in 2002. None of these conflicts are mentioned anywhere in the study.
CDC actually wrote a letter to Pediatrics recommending publication of the study. 
This letter , written prior to the official date of submission, reveals how involved in the study CDC was (remember, one of their employees was a co-author). Jose Cordero, Director of the Division of the CDC responsible for developmental disabilities, oversees the CDC's efforts to fight autism. He notes, "its findings provide one strong piece of evidence that thimerosal is not causally linked to autism." Dr. Cordero, too, had seen the Generation Zero data and attended the meeting in Simpsonwood. (Author’s note: it is always Pediatrics that is willing to publish these studies, for obvious reasosns.)
The public health establishment seems to have a simple strategy: get anything published, and then spin the hell out of it and confuse the public, and they perhaps never did it better than with this original “Danish study” which is still cited as proof by many that “vaccines don’t cause autism.”
*     *
As you can imagine, when the study was published in 2003 it was criticized by our community, and for good reason. Here’s AoA’s Mark Blaxill back in 2003, from this great analysis, Danish Thimerosal-Autism Study in Pediatrics: "A report by Madsen et al. published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in their journal Pediatrics1 claims to provide evidence against a link between autism rates and the mercury in thimerosal, a preservative used in childhood vaccines. Unfortunately, the study analysis is full of flaws and inaccuracies, invalidating the conclusions regarding thimerosal.
The study adds little of value to the scientific literature on autism and mercury. The report provides information on autism rates in Denmark that is distorted and misleading. These distortions allow the authors to make assertions about a rising trend in autism "incidence" in the 1990s that has no basis in fact."
And, here’s Boyd Haley, Ph.D., recounting his experience with the 2004 IOM when he tried to explain the fraudulent nature of this work (a work which was cited as one of the primary studies behind the 2004 IOM’s conclusions):
“I have been calling this work fraud every since it came out, even at the 2004 IOM Committee meeting where Dr. Marie McCormick ended my questioning of Dr. Hviid, who was presenting the Danish data, because he would not, or could not tell me the autism rates in the USA vs Denmark---he feigned not understanding my question because the maximum rate of autism was less than 4/10,000 in Denmark in 2000 whereas in the USA the rate was 67/10,000 having increased from about 3-4/10,000 from 1985 and earlier. 
This makes all the Danish studies invalid, it is like studying the effect of mosquitoes on the spread of malaria and doing the studies in Alaska instead of the Panama…This data was manipulated to appear to cause an increase in the autism rate after the removal of thimerosal.  One educated in epidemiological sciences has to be really incompetent to not find this deceptive utilization of the Danish data-----this apparently includes the responsible individuals at the CDC and in the AAP.”
When I first read this study I remember wondering, “what the hell kind of scientists would even put their name next to something like this?” As we learn more about Dr. Poul Thorsen, I think we’re finding out.

J.B. Handley is Co-Founder of Generation Rescue.



Extreme importance:Please look at the conclusion of this
study:Thimerosal and the Occurence of Autism: Negative
ecological evidence from Danish population based data.
"Our data cannot of course,exclude the possibility that
thimerosal at dose LARGER than used in Denmark (which is
75% less)may lead to neurodevelopmental damage".
So this study is NOT based on American population or
on the amount of thimerosal that is used in USA vaccines.
So, they have misled the newspapers,the scientists,the parents,everybody.False science and manipulation of data
used to support mercury use.Thorsen was one of the authors
the others:Madsen,Lauritsen,Pedersen,Thorsen,Plesner,Andersen,
Mortensen who covered big pharma's a$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Cheryl Scott

Thorsen is one of those whom Samuel Clemens captured beautifully in his observation that, "There are liars, damn liars, and statisticians." So much liability would accrue to those who have been pushing vaccination and manufacturing vaccines that these people have adopted an "anything-at-any-cost" mentality to escape their culpability, not unlike the tobacco companies of yesteryear. When private wealth, professional reputations and personal egos are at stake, this is what can be expected. Eventually, the truth prevailed about tobacco. Eventually, the truth will prevail regarding vaccines.

to Alan

Perhaps you could help Mark or someone here how to go about this??


All that needs to be done in the light of Mark Blaxill's demolition of the Danish Thimerosal - Autism study in Pediatrics is for someone to bring the gross shortcomings of that paper to the attention of the editors of Pediatrics and formally request a retraction of the paper. They will be honour bound to comply. Simple!
After all there is a danger that people will unwittingly continue to refer to the paper not realising that it has been discredited.


Well it seems we can't really trust the government and scientists to look at the data objectively - that is really, really sad.. I am a scientist, and was in vaccine research. So yeah I can see the incentive to be bad is there for scientists.

The truth is that scientists do not know everything about drugs, when we do trials we guess the best doses and regimens and then chose the most effective dose that doesnt cause adverse events in our clinical trials.
For combination studies or vaccines scientists guess the doses and if they don't produce immediate adverse events its OK - approved. Scientist need to look at long term chronic effects of drugs... especially focusing on pregnant women and young children.

Science isnt perfect, e.g. the CDC studies on Flu vaccines these studies are not done on pregnant women in the first trimester which is likely when any effects of a vaccine + adjuvants are most likely to be seen, sometimes they are done in the 2nd trimester but realistically the CDC is only really testing women in the 3rd trimester...and only a small no of women, and only women who are likely healthy.

No large scale study ever looks at pregnant women, certainly now company would ever even go there if it can avoid it.
Governments are here to protect us, I lost one child to autism, and I want to make sure nobody else has to go though this. It is likely genetic but triggered early in development by ????

I think governments may be starting to change, having one in 60 boys autistic will basically F-up any economy so they better pay attention.
But yeah the whole thing is a disgrace to the scientific community as it is now.

Thermiserol may not be the cause of autism it could simply be the immune response to vaccines given to susceptible individuals.
Who are those individuals? We need answers?

Governments meed to stop protecting industry and get a answer.


I don't know what causes autism, I do know however that there has been a big push over the past 5 or so years to get thimerosal out of pediatric vaccines. In fact it was to be signed into law that it couldn't be used in pediatric vaccines until the bill was vetoed by the last president. Since then the decision has been made to expand influenza and now swine flu vaccination to children, vaccines that more often than not contain thimerosal. Despite the efforts of the past five years it is unclear with all the flu vaccination push if the total dose of thimerosal being injected into children may even be increasing. Thimerosal has already been banned from much of the world over concerns of neurotoxicity. It is 49% by weight ethyl mercury. It is not necessary for either the safety or efficacy of vaccines. Why is it still in vaccines given to children and why shouldn't we be concerned? It sure looks like a good candidate for a causative agent in autism to me, but even leaving aside that question does anyone want to take the position that it should remain in vaccines? Just get it the hell out of vaccines, then three years later we can return to the autism/thimerosal question, what could possibly be the harm there?? Who could possibly stand to lose from such an action?

Paul Maher, MD MPH


DAMN. This whole thing is jaw-dropping. Thanks for taking no prisoners, JB.


I've been looking for the skeptical spin about your recent reporting over this fraud. So far, LBRB is the only opinion on the matter and they are criticizing your findings. Please counter their arguments and stay ahead on this.


"The truth about cures without drugs is suppressed, unless it suits the purpose of the censor to garble it. Whether these cures are effected by chiropractors, Naturopaths, Naprapaths, Osteopaths, Faith Healers, Spiritualists, Herbalists, Christian Scientists, or MDs who use the brains they have, you never read about it in the big newspapers." ...Morris A. Bealle
If you are wondering how the media and anyone else that may debunk the medical BS that is published, read this.


Cynthia Cournoyer

I have been watching this nonsense since 1981. There have been anti-vaccine people since the smallpox vaccine in the eighteenth century. In the 1950's my father did not want us kids vaccinated with the brand new polio vaccine because he saw other kids in our neighborhood who were vaccinated and got polio anyway. There has always been controversy around vaccinating. Trouble is, too many people believe the re-written history on the subject.

It's not the blowing-the-lid-off-the-scandal as much as it's listening to each other and rejecting their pseudo-science before the spin-masters get ahold of it!

Mike Wag

JB, Look what I found in this paper, " A Population-Based Study of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Autism". NEJM,2002,Volume 347:1477-1482. Authors;

Kreesten Meldgaard Madsen, M.D., Anders Hviid, M.Sc., Mogens Vestergaard, M.D., Diana Schendel, Ph.D., Jan Wohlfahrt, M.Sc., Poul Thorsen, M.D., Jørn Olsen, M.D., and Mads Melbye, M.D.

"In our cohort [all kids diagnosed with autism in Denmark], 93.1 percent of the children were treated only as outpatients, and 6.9 percent were at some point treated as inpatients".

Let's see; 93.1/6.9 = 13.5 times more autistic outpatients than inpatients. The statemenmt "the proportion of outpatient to inpatient activities was about 4 to 6 times as many outpatients as inpatients" isn't even close to the truth. The obscure statement wasn't only a lie, it was a double lie!


If research shows that autistic like characterics can be reversed in mice, then wouldn't that mean this is a man made disorder?


I can't begin to count the number of MSM reporters who've replied to autism parents e-mails stating that "well-designed studies from Denmark" disprove the vaccine-autism link.

Such a statement basically announces to the reader, "I'm too lazy/busy/stupid/apathetic to look at the actual study and investigate the incriminating e-mails and documentation."


If you think that you have a good grasp on the whole autism/vaccine connection and want to expand even further, try going to and start reading about the polio vaccination and the cancers/death it causes and how our government is blocking compensation on that whole angle, too. That is, if you can stomach it, because it more fudged science at it's worst.


CT teacher, interesting that you mention smallpox vaccine, as that was the only vaccine whose serious side effects were openly discussed (at least at the time, and in some countries...) and widely known. Some of the side effects were all sorts of neurological damage, and there is even one published case study describing sudden descent into AUTISM after smallpox vaccination. I haven't saved it but it should still be traceable through pubmed - better go hurry until someone 'else' spots it and it mysteriously disappears ;)

Theresa Cedillo

Right on target JB. Thanks for the great post.

Tim Kasemodel

I have a copy of an e-mail recovered through the FOIA which is heavily redacted but gives the following information.

From Marlene Lauritsen dated November 13, 2002, to Poul Thorsen, Kreesten Meldgaard Madsen, and Diane Schendel (CDC).

Re: Manuscript about Thimerosal and autism

"Dear Poul, Kreesten and Diane Schendel,

Attached I send you the short and long manuscript about Thimerosal and autism in Denmark. ...(long redacted sentence(s?)...
I need to tell you that the figures in the manuscripts do not include the latest data from 2001. I only have these figures as a paper version and they are at work......(redaction).... But the incidence and prevalance are "STILL DECREASING" (emphasis added) in 2001. ....(redacted sentance)....

I look forward to hear from you again.

Best regards, Marlene"

From Kreesten Meldgaard Madsen, dated November 13, 2002, to Marlene Lauritsen, Poul Thorsen, and Diane Schendel.

Re: Manuscript about Thimerosal and autism

Hi Marlene,

(Redacted Sentances...) I am not currently at the univeristy but I will contact you and Poul tomorrow "TO MAKE UP OUR MINDS". (emphasis added).

Best regards, Kreesten"

Less than 30 days later the study was submmitted for publication, which apparently they had "Made up their minds" would conclude the very opposite of what this e-mail seems to conclude.

May they all rot in hell.

CT teacher

Since the very inception of the mass vaccination movement with polio vaccines, scientists and government agencies have been deceiving the public. Inconvenient facts about dangers and contamination have been covered up and scientists who sounded alarms have been persecuted and their voices silenced by the media. Its a stinking, ugly mess. However, I never read anything about the smallpox vaccine because it is no longer given. I'm not sure what year mass vaccination with smallpox vaccine began, but I wonder about its role in those early cases described by Kanner.

K Kauffman

This article along with Friday's has left me speechless. Thank you JB for getting the real facts to us. I grieve every day for the first three years of my son's life - for all the pain and unhappiness he endured because of a vaccine injury. I am amazed at the fog that the CDC created so long ago with this cover up and how they continue to this day to allow more children to become "Acceptable Loses".

Genny GC

I always thought that the Danish study was a typical example of kafkaesque science that makes you wonder whether you live on the same planet as those that produce it. The worst thing is when you try to point out its faults to self-declared scientific - bad faith - people, they can't see nowt wrong with it (so they say!)so long as the conclusion is what they want to hear they don't care about the methodology!!!


Handley - You are a rare person. An even more wonderful and noble thing has happened because a LOT of rare people have gotten together on this web site to fight in shedding light into the deep, black, souless hole of evil, greedy, don't care- people working around the medical/drug industry poisoning children.

It takes rare people to read these studies, knowing the injustice, the faking, lying, cheating, no morals, no ethics, no honesty, no mercy to the most innocent and helpless, and not to give up.

Rare that you and others here find the courage and determination to swallow the rage, to not just give up (saying it is too hard), or to do something stupid -- but to coninue to think, continue to argue, continue to fight the system by the system's rules.

Thank You


please post a link to this article to Big Noise Films

[email protected]


Was thinking about how the modern manifestation of this scandal is only about 20 years old. This gives me hope. As some in the know reach retirement age and have less to lose I think we are going to see some whistle blowing. History repeats. Such things have happened before. Think Deep Throat near the end of his life. Consciences will stir. It will happen. I can't wait!


I found this to be a really interesting article which came out yesterday

Do Vaccines Cause Autism

Keep hammering them JB.


Early example of the odd system whereby autism hasn't increased--all increases are due to better diagnosis and changes in the guidelines--unless said increase exonerates vaccines. Then it is real. Even if it was clearly due to better diagnosis or changes in the guidelines.

Jake Crosby

Great post.

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